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Cutter Guide

Why use a cutter?

Paper cutters/trimmers have two main uses: Cutting large stacks of paper quickly and cutting individual sheets to small stacks of paper precisely. Paper cutters are far more efficient than scissors and trimmers are far more accurate. Other materials such as photographs can also be mass-cut or trimmed to exactness.

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Things to consider before purchasing a cutter

What are you cutting?
Some cutters and trimmers are better tailored to different materials. Recognize the need for a stronger blade when dealing with cardboard, plastic or other paper-like goods that are tougher than standard copy sheets.

How often are you going to use your cutter?
Cutters are offered in manual, semi or fully automatic modes. Manual cutters require the operator's hands and full attention. Semi automatic does all the cutting but requires the operator to prompt the blade for every cut. For high-volume cutting, a fully automatic machine does everything, just by programming it.

How many sheets do you intend to cut at a time?
Trimmers are more detail-oriented, cutting only one or two sheets at once. Large guillotine-style cutters can slice stacks of paper up to three inches in size.

What is the size of the paper you are cutting?
Cutting cardboard, obviously, is different than cutting copy paper. The cutter you select should be large and sharp enough to meet the needs of the materials you plan to cut.

Issue of space/mobility
Factor in your work area. If you need to move the cutter frequently, consider a workstation on wheels, or a smaller cutter if possible.

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What are the different types of cutters?

Economy Paper Trimmers
One of the most common trimmers, these are extremely popular among school teachers. Traditionally, economy trimmers have a wood base and metallic arm. Excellent for occasional cutting of 4 to 10 sheets of paper.

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Arm Cutters and Trimmers
Good for moderate-use cutting, arm cutter/trimmers are able to cut 15-50 sheets of paper at once. The technique is basic lift and cut with a cutting arm.

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Rotary Paper Trimmers

Rotary trimmers are distinguished by a cutting head that houses a round blade. The blade slides along a metal bar that makes for very effective measuring and cutting.

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Foam Trimmers

Similar to rotary paper cutters, foam trimmers cut Styrofoam or mounting board using a cutting head and blade that slides along a metal bar.

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